Retail Sales Consultant Tip: Make The First Sale Of The Day

By Bob Phibbs

baseball is like retail sales training

Have you ever heard the first crack of the bat at a baseball game? One that goes soaring into the outfield far enough to allow the hitter to get on base?

It is a tremendous amount of energy released. And that’s just to get on base, the energy from an out-of-the-park home run is even more spectacular.

That first hit is crucially important because the team that gets the first hit usually wins the game. That hit is a confidence builder for the team.

So it is with the first sale in your retail store.

As a retail sales consultant, I’m often asked for best practices and one I discovered early in my retail career was that the best retailers, the best retail owners, the best retail managers were determined to make the first sale of the day.

They didn’t just wait for someone to come up to the counter and say, “I’ll take it;” they dropped everything to make that sale happen because they knew it would energize themselves and their crew.

The Hindu have a word for it, Bohni.

Bohni is based on the belief that the first sale of a day establishes the seller's luck for subsequent transactions during the remainder of the day.

When you walk in the door to your retail shop, turn on the lights and open for business, are you believing that the first sale of the day will be yours? And that it will happen in moments, not hours?

Do you make that first sale of the day the first goal on your to-do list?

You should; making that first sale pays big. Look no further than your favorite, winning baseball team...

Success builds success.

Contrast that to many retailers I see as a retail sales consultant, where the first customer of the day is seen as a distraction from the morning Big Gulp, personal gossip or news of the day.

When you set out to make that first sale of the day, like the batter looking to get that first hit, you set the tone for what sales will follow that day.

Making the first retail sale of the day sets into motion five things...

  1. It gives your crew confidence that they can do it.

  2. It sets the tone for the rest of the crew - they're expected to sell, not stand around talking.

  3. It shows the customer they are most important, especially if you stopped talking mid-sentence to greet them.

  4. It focuses you down to the person who can most influence your profitability - your customer.

  5. It sets up a bit of a competition between employees.

Many retailers go through their day not thinking a lick about setting up a positive mindset. Of directing their own retail sales. Of setting and achieving goals.

For those retailers, each person, each situation, each sales encounter leaves them aimless and adrift.

Now imagine setting a goal to make that first sale of the day.

How you would feel after you finished that sale?

You'd be on top of the world.

Invincible.

It would be your "Rocky" moment.

Doing this is so simple you can do it every day.

Maybe that would mean you have to wait on several people until you make that sale, but the lesson and example to your crew is better than any caffeinated drink, breaking news or idle gossip.

The other way

Have you ever been in your store when no one was buying? Technically, each one of your employees is where they should be; one behind the register, one fixing displays, one roaming the floor. You are all hoping sales will get better but no one is actively taking the initiative to drive a sale.

You don’t want to wait until the third inning to decide you have to go out and sell. You have to make that sale happen right at the start of the day.

That way, when a big sale happens at the end of the day, it just caps off an already great day.

When your retail employees see you actively selling that first customer, it makes it much harder for them to stand behind your counter and groan, "No one's buying."

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